For better or worse, I’m back …

Yeah, I know it’s been a while since I posted anything on this blog until a couple of days ago.  A friend of mine sent me a comment on that post saying “Good to see you blogging again,” and that highlighted it for me (thanks JMT).

I have in fact been off on another couple of blogging projects:
Life in 500 Words  (a collaboration with my beautiful daughter)
Being60.com (a journal to help deal with an impending birthday)

But sometimes you lose your way. The steady thread of my life was being tangled by outside events, and I learnt that I am not the strongly resilient person I thought I was, and often claimed to be.

Following a short period of decline, my mum died, and my sister and I sat vigil with her for two days until the end.

Shortly after, one of my great mates died, in those inexplicable circumstances when one of the truly good people in the world is taken too early.

My dogs died, one after the other, within a space of months.

Assorted family difficulties stacked up one on top of the other.

So I’ve been sloshing around a bit for 10 or 12 months, but I’m back. I can’t pinpoint exactly what’s helped me to get it all together again, but looking back a few things stand out:

• A genius of a personal trainer showed me that my body wasn’t in an inexorable slide downwards, and even got me racing, well, competing, again (which makes turning 60 a bonus rather than a sorrow, because you go up an age category and you don’t have to race people 9 years younger than you)
• Sadly or fortuitously, my constitution stopped tolerating the amounts of alcohol it used to be able to and I don’t drink as much as I did
• I changed what went into the shopping trolley, and therefore what went into me
• I’ve been working with some dedicated and committed people in various not-for-profit enterprises who have reinforced the value of service
• I never stopped writing, and even if it was of no great quality and only for me, it gave an opportunity for self-reflection without too much self-flagellation.

Ah, the bleedin’ obvious, but it’s hard to see it at the times when you most need it: exercise, diet, less booze, helping other people.

These things weren’t consciously undertaken, or part of any plan. I can’t guess at the source of their interventions. Maybe this stuff is cyclical. Maybe I’m just a lucky bloke. Whatever it is, I’m grateful for it.

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3 Responses to “For better or worse, I’m back …”


  1. 1 Belinda Thomson September 22, 2013 at 8:51 pm

    Once again, you are selling yourself short. Of course you are resilient. Despite those many sorrows, you stayed outwardly positive; you supported many of the people in your family; you provided practical help and solutions. And most importantly, you never sank into the kind of depression or sadness that stops you from doing things, like getting out of bed and facing the day. If that is not resilience in the face of adversity, I don’t know what is. And really, you had a total bastard of a year. Making it through at all is quite a feat.

  2. 2 JMT September 26, 2013 at 10:08 am

    You forgot to add being inspiring (which you are!)

  3. 3 Marsha October 3, 2013 at 10:01 am

    What a tough time, but as you pointed out, such tragedies often wake us up to positive changeswe can make in our lives, in terms of what we want to become, to continue, and to stop doing.


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